Maine's Food Heritage

Mar 28, 2018

In conjunction with a new exhibit at the Maine Historical Society, we examine Maine’s food heritage, including what ingredients and dishes have come from the different cultures that have shaped our state.

Beth J. Harpaz / Associated Press

It’s the tenth anniversary of Maine Restaurant Week. We’ll learn about different culinary centers in the state, emerging food trends, and what makes Maine such a center of foodie culture.

The Local Motive title still

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., July 12 at 10:00 pm
Sat., July 14 at 11:00 am

The food you don't eat on your plate still has value as a resource with applications in other areas: on the farm, as rescued food, as feed for animals, and as anaerobic digesters. Think of it as resource management. This episode looks at food that may be slated to be thrown away as a possible resource with other applications. Explore the challenges of managing each stage of the hierarchy and the impending complications surrounding the implementation of Act 148, Vermont's universal recycling law which also addresses composting.

Customers at a farmer's market in Vermont

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., July 5 at 10:30 pm
Sat., July 7 at 11:30 am

Who is the local food consumer and what are the roadblocks to getting them to eat more local? While price is the most talked about obstacle, it's only the tip of the iceberg. People who buy local food today are making a values-based purchase paying more to eat something they feel is healthier, better tasting and better for the local economy. This episode looks at how consumers arrive at the decision to eat local, and how to shift the conversation away from price and toward the benefits of making that buying decision.

A woman picking out produce at a market in Vermont

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., July 5 at 10:00 pm
Sat., July 7 at 11:00 am

Institutions such as schools, universities, camps, hospitals and prisons are places where the food consumer often doesn't have much choice. This is food intended to feed large volumes, and has to do so with typically small per capita budgets, USDA nutritional requirements and limited labor and equipment resources. To reach Farm to Plate goals in increasing local consumption, these institutions need to choose local food for their consumer. We'll look at the paths to bringing local food into institutions and the passionate individuals committed to making Farm to Institution a reality.

The Local Motive title still

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., May 31 at 10:30 pm

Direct sales from farmer to consumer are great and desirable, but the majority of families still get their food from grocers, supermarkets, general stores and restaurants. This episode looks at how third party distributors and innovations in cooperative distribution are helping clear the roadblocks to the successful scaling of local food, giving farmers new opportunities. We'll also see how distribution is one particularly pronounced way that strong relationships can help create success at all scales.

The Local Motive title still

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., May 31 at 10:00 pm

Explore the relationship between the processing of local food and the financial viability of the local food system, both for producers and consumers. Processing increases shelf life, minimizes waste and improves access to market. It is also economically valuable and necessary to serve the demands of current consumers. In order for farmers to be economically viable and feasible in the current market, they need access to processing facilities and processing partners.

farmer in a field of crops

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., May 3 at 10:30 pm
Sat., May 5 at 11:30 am
Sat., May 19 at 11:30 am

Vermont leads the nation in local food production and consumption. Even so, as it currently stands only about 7% of our food is sourced locally. The Vermont Farm to Plate food system plan calls for a goal of 10% local food consumption by 2020. The New England Food Vision seeks to achieve 50% of all food consumption in New England to be sourced locally by mid-century. Episode 1 examines these goals, looking at how Vermont currently eats, the supply and demand challenges, and how much land would be needed to attain long-term goals.

Holiday Food Traditions

Nov 23, 2017

This is a rebroadcast; no calls will be taken. (The original air date was December 13, 2016) 

What makes your holiday special? Most likely food is involved. We discuss the many traditions that revolve around meals here in Maine, from tourtiere to ployes to bean soup--to whatever cultural delicacies people make for their loved ones.

Guests: Nancy Harmon Jenkins, cookbook author and historian

Sam Hayward, restaurant pioneer, chef, and owner of Fore Street in Portland

The Original Food Truck cover image Media Lab

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., October 5 at 10:00 pm
Sat., October 7 at 11:00 am

The story of The Original Food Truck and the oldest continually operating diner on wheels is the story of the first food truck owned by woman, this late night lunch cart has served patrons for over 120 years.

Located in the birthplace of the American diner, Providence, RI, the documentary centers around the fact that Haven Bros. was almost lost to the modernizing of Providence. The diner was moved from its reserved parking spot next to Providence City Hall, and this was considered blasphemy to its loyal followers.

Governor Paul LePage has signed into law a measure that gives municipalities the authority to regulate local food systems without state intervention, so-called food sovereignty.

Under the measure, cities and towns can pass ordinances allowing food or food products that are grown, produced or processed by individuals within the municipality to be sold directly to consumers in face to face transactions.

Any food or food products sold outside of the municipality intended for wholesale or retail distribution have to comply with state and federal guidelines.

Food for Thought

May 12, 2017

We'll hear about what's happening in the world of food: food events, cookbooks, ingredients of the season, restaurants and food trends.

Guests: Nancy Harmon Jenkins, cookbook author and food writer

Peggy Grodinsky, food editor at Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram

Sam Hayward, pioneering chef and one of the partners at Fore Street in Portland

Food for Thought

Feb 10, 2017

Renowned Maine culinary experts (including two James Beard award winners) join us to talk about food and cooking, including—what to make for Valentine's Day, food trends and cold-weather comfort foods. And: Why ot's time to make orange marmalade!

Guests:  Nancy Harmon Jenkins, cookbook author and food writer

Peggy Grodinsky, food editor at Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

Sam Hayward, chef and co-owner of Fore Street and Scales restaurants in Portland


Maine Food Traditions

Dec 13, 2016

In time for the holidays, a conversation about the holiday dishes that have long been a part of Maine’s cultural heritage. Do you have a tourtiere that would make a Frenchman cry? Do you have a family fruitcake recipe to brag about?  Do you make your own finnan haddie?


Peggy Grodinsky, food editor for Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram; former editor of Cook's Country magazine.

Nancy Harmon Jenkins, food writer, cookbook author, food historian, culinary traveler

A still from We Have to Talk About Hunger

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Sat., November 19 at 11:00 am

Although Vermont is the healthiest state in the country, one in five children live in hunger. How can that be?